It was just before one-o’clock in the morning and Chris had already boarded the plane at LAX. I was sitting on the floor admiring the impressive farmer’s tan that I had to leave Iowa and travel to California to get, and logging footage of the Pinnaclife Bike Team from the race they’d competed in earlier in the day. I sat with my headphones pressed up against my ears, and despite the intensity of the riders and the excitement of the crowd that came across on tape; I found something strangely therapeutic and calming in the whole experience. Maybe it was late, or maybe I was just excited to get back to Iowa City and buy my own bike, but the sound of two-hundred-and-some bike wheels whizzing across the pavement in a matter of seconds was mesmerizing. Meeting the Pinnaclife Racing Team was a moment of inspiration to say the least. Watching them compete left me speechless.
Biking has been something that I’ve always enjoyed, and a sport about which I’ve felt confident saying, “I’m good at that.” And this is coming from a guy for whom sports do NOT come naturally. In fact, I spent the majority of my grade school and one year of high school basketball career warming the end of the bench and nursing a free throw shot that looked like something a frog would produce. That said, you’d think that watching the men compete – some of whom are almost twice my age – seeing them pedal faster and ride farther than I ever have, would be intimidating; it would be something that I’d step back and say, leave t to the pros… Not the case.
Racing as a team is just that. A team. Are there people on that team who are bigger, faster and quicker than others? Yes. Are they more important than anyone else? No. Is everyone on the team working towards his personal best? Absolutely. And that’s what’s important. At the risk of sounding like a deep thinker, I’m putting this out there, I asked myself: How often do I try to be my personal best, and what does that even mean?
Later that morning, I found myself in Texas, waiting for a delayed flight and reviewing footage from Huntington Beach Paintball Tournament. Dennis Olson told me in an interview I conducted immediately following the National Professional Paintball League Tournament in which his team finished fourth, “This is the first time this team has competed in a pro tournament of this magnitude. It wasn’t our goal to get first place. It was our goal to get into the top four. We achieved that. That’s how I work” Dennis said, “I set goals and I jump in and close the back door. There’s no easy way out. If you’re in it, you’re in it one hundred percent. Sometimes you meet your goals, sometimes you exceed them and some times you fail. But if you’ve tried your best, then you never lose.”
I stood on the beach post interview and watched the sun set over the paintball course. Trying to wrap my brain around the week, I thought: Am I where I’m supposed to be? In my career, have I tried to be the best? Or have I tried to do the best I can do?
As I try harder, I know that my best will become better, and that’s the goal. At Pinnaclife, my team is made up of people from all walks of life and much like our racing team, we strive to do the best that what we can. We come together, focused and driven and we see results.
In my wellness plan, I ask: have I set goals that I can achieve or have I looked for quick fixes and easy ways out? I’m no stranger to the lures of “made-for-tv miracles” like the shake-weight or the Hollywood Diet, but as those items sit unused in a corner, I wonder: was that really the best investment I could have made?
In my diet, I’ve asked: am I eating the right foods? Do I really need that In and Out Burger? Do I really need a second? Now honestly, the jury is still out on that one, but the key fact remains: I need to respect Nutrition. Nutrition is the foundation of everything I do. Without it, I’ve got nothing. No fuel for the fire, no gas in the car, no gumption for whatever other metaphor you can think of.
There’s a saying that we live by at Pinnaclife, and that is, “Honor who you are everyday.”
I want to thank you all for sharing this week with me. After this trip, I finally know what “Honor who you are everyday” means to me. I know, where I need to go and I know what I’m going to do to get started. Moving forward, I am excited to share my journey with you — my personal successes and failures; the accomplishments of Pinnaclife; the advancements in healthcare and nutrition, the exciting research results and the motivating success stories and more. And it is my hope that on this journey, you too will be able to discover what “honor who you are everyday” means to you.